Re: [gardeners] In the garden - Mason Bees

Ron Hay (
Wed, 27 Oct 1999 22:09:22 -0700

Hello, Linda,

Thank you so much for enlightening me! I am very happy to report, that at least
in my little corner of the world, honeybees are rebounding mightily. You should
see how they assisted our lime tree this year!

Van Nuys, CA
Zone 9b,
Sunset zone 21

Linda Baranowski-Smith wrote:

> >Hello, again.
> >
> >Another thing to learn about! What are mason bees, and why do they require
> >being put in the fridge?
> >
> >Ron
> >
> Hi Ron,
> I think their proper name is Orchard Mason Bee, Osmia lignaria.  You can
> learn more about this good natured little pollinator at the site for Knox
> Cellars.  The site is <>.  Click on "products"
> and it gives you the answer to your question about what they are.  I have a
> little booklet here...somewhere... about their life cycle, propagation,
> etc.  Think I got it from Knox Cellars several years ago.  When you run out
> of ideas for gifts...the bees were a Christmas gift for my husband.
> The bees are a little like "tender perennials" in our climate, so when the
> temps are cooling to below freezing we have to take their houses (wooden
> nesting blocks containing nesting holes) off our outside walls, put them in
> a container with a damp cloth, and keep them cold (below 50 F) but at above
> freezing temps.  This keeps the eggs inside their cocoon in a state of
> torpor until they are again above 50 F.  We have an extra fridge in which
> we keep such things as seed and mason bees.  It is my understanding that if
> you don't have extended cold weather like we do, that you can just let them
> "bee."  :-)
> Linda in NW Ohio near Toledo/Lake Erie, USDA Zone 5